The Daily Dirt: Coronavirus shapes luxury negotiations

An analysis of New York's top real estate news

TRD New York /
Apr.April 20, 2020 08:00 PM
301 East 80th Street and the penthouse at 112 Franklin Street (Credit: Beckford Tower and Atelier)

301 East 80th Street and the penthouse at 112 Franklin Street (Credit: Beckford Tower and Atelier)

Eek! Luxury deals in Manhattan dropped 90 percent in the past four weeks.

Only eight contracts were inked for properties costing more than $4 million, a 90 percent year-over-year decrease, Sylvia Varnham O’Regan reports. The total asking price for the 84 contracts signed during the same four-week period last year was $675.5 million. The asking price for the eight homes sold this year was $71.2 million.

Last week, only two contracts were signed for homes above that price threshold, according to Olshan Realty’s latest report. One of those deals was for a penthouse at 112 Franklin Street.

After one buyer walked away from the home, the coronavirus drove away a second. The broker, Wendy Maitland of Atelier WM, went back to the original buyer, offered concessions and was able to cut a deal.

Meanwhile, the flow of luxury deals in Brooklyn was similarly slow. According to a new report by Compass, only two contracts were signed last week for homes whose asking price was more than $2 million. The most expensive deal was for a condo unit at 1 Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights, which had an asking price of $2.4 million.

Vornado Realty Trust’s Steve Roth just took a 50 percent pay cut.

Following several other CEOs who have voluntarily foregone part or all of their salaries, Roth has agreed to give up 50 percent of his base pay, E.B. Solomont reports. Had Roth done so last year, his $11.1 million haul would have been whittled all the way down to … $10.7 million. (His base salary was $880,003.)

Other Vornado executives — President Michael Franco, CFO Joseph Macnow and Vice Chairman David Greenbaum — are waiving 30 percent of their pay. Glen Weiss and Barry Lander, co-heads of real estate, and Vornado’s head of retail, Haim Chera, are taking a 15 percent cut.

In light of the pandemic, executives at other real estate companies — including Realogy, Redfin, Newmark Knight Frank, Airbnb and Compass — have waived part or all of their pay.

What we’re thinking about: Is the governor drinking red wine out of a pint glass in this picture? Send a note to [email protected].

CLOSING TIME

Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded Monday was for a condo unit at 152 Elizabeth Street in Nolita, at $11.2 million.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for an industrial building at 939 Courtlandt Avenue in Concourse Village, at $3.5 million.

BREAKING GROUND

The largest new building filing of the day was for a 40,581-square-foot residential building at 1559 Prospect Place in Weeksville, between Crown Heights and Brownsville. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development filed the permit application.

NEW TO THE MARKET

The priciest residential listing to hit the market was for a townhouse at 119 Bergen Street in Boerum Hill, at $4.3 million. Corcoran Group’s Deborah Rieders has the listing. — Research by Mary Diduch

A thing we’ve learned…

More than 400 companies have posted the status of their internship programs on the website appropriately titled, “Is my internship cancelled?” One-hundred and thirty-six have been cancelled. Thank you Erik Engquist for providing this information.

Elsewhere in New York

— Shake Shack plans to give back the $10 million federal Payment Protection Program loan that it received from the Small Business Administration, Gothamist reports. The program was depleted within two weeks of launching and many had criticized the chain for tapping the aid.

— The city has called off public events — including the Pride and Puerto Rican Day parades — through June, Politico New York reports. “We’re not going to let our foot off the gas prematurely. We’re not going to run the risk of this disease reasserting itself,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

— The MTA has lost 79 employees to Covid-19, the New York Post reports. “Every one of those people had a family and a story and a future and that is tragic and we mourn their loss,” MTA Chairman Pat Foye told MSNBC on Sunday.


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